Sparrow Ionia Hospital recognized as Age-Friendly Health System

Published: July 23, 2020

IONIA, MI – Sparrow Ionia Hospital is among only three healthcare organizations statewide to be recognized as an Age-Friendly Health System for providing special care to those 65 and older.

Sparrow Ionia was singled out by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), through an initiative of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association’s Keystone Center, for working to create an age-friendly environment for patients.

“Our caregivers are focused on the four key areas of an age-friendly hospital — what matters, medications, mentation and mobility,” said Sparrow Ionia President Linda Reetz. “Sparrow Ionia Hospital aims to improve our patient care, their safety and overall improve the health of the individuals in our communities. I am very proud of our staff and their dedication. They are making a difference.”

Sparrow Ionia’s approach is based on the individual and special needs of each patient as a way of showing compassionate care and preserving their sense of well-being, said Steve Dexter, Sparrow Ionia Nurse Manager of the Medical Surgical Unit and Special Care.

“We really need to focus on what matters to these patients rather than only what’s the matter with them,” Dexter said.

The initiative uses lessons learned from a movement launched by the IHI and the John A. Hartford Foundation that concentrates on the 4 M’s: What matters to the patient/family; medication; mentation (preventing and identifying conditions like dementia and depression); and mobility.

The need for special focus on older patients is obvious, Dexter said. Currently, more than half of all patients at Sparrow Ionia are 65 and older, and that is expected to soar throughout the nation because of the Baby Boomer generation, he said.

The Sparrow Ionia project involves such things as guiding patients in use of technology, such as Sparrow’s MySparrow app, and making sure caregivers know their specific health concerns.

For more information about Sparrow Ionia, go to


Sparrow Ionia Hospital is a subsidiary of Sparrow Health System. As Mid-Michigan’s premier health care organization, Sparrow includes hospitals in Lansing, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ionia and Carson City, as well as Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, and the Michigan Athletic Club. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 Caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and Patient experience. For more information, visit